Friday 27 January 2023

Human cute aggression provoked by a kitten or puppy can damage teeth!

This is a bit of a stretch of the imagination but it is a recognised condition. You might have experienced it. You see a cute puppy or kitten. You have an urge to smother her with kisses and squeeze her tightly. At the same time, you might clench your teeth. If you do the latter in a slightly careless way, you might damage them. That is the order of events.

Human cute aggression provoked by a kitten or puppy can damage teeth!
Human cute aggression provoked by a kitten or puppy can damage teeth! Image: MikeB.

The experts say that these feelings result in a dimorphous physical action. The word "dimorphous" means existing in two forms. And in this instance, it means you have a feeling of euphoria in seeing something very cute which your verbalise and the other simultaneous form is doing something aggressive like squeezing the cute animal too hard or grinding your teeth.

That's the urge but of course self-control takes over and you don't actually squeeze the animal to the point where the action is aggressive and harmful.

In recognition of this known condition which I had not heard of before, a British dentist, Dr. Rizwan Mahmood, has claimed that idly scrolling through pictures of cute dogs and cats could damage your teeth.

I think that that he is successfully achieving a little bit of publicity and that may be the goal. If it was the goal then well done because it's worked.

If you grind your teeth at the sight of something cute, it would have to be persistent grinding to do any real damage. Like I said, it's a bit of a stretch of the imagination to see real damage occurring.

Social media celebrity, Molly Mae, who featured in the Love Island television series admitted that she has a habit of grinding her teeth to the point where one of them fell out! She blames cute aggression.

She said:

"I'm my own worst enemy because whenever I look at the cat or I look at Ellie Bellie (her stuffed toy elephant) I just talk to Tommy in a stupid baby voice, I do this thing where I grind my teeth. I bit down and my tooth literally came off last night."

The good dentist said:

"It's an instant physical response when humans see something cute like a fluffy kitten, puppy or rabbit which makes them react physically rather than verbally. It doesn't necessarily take too much pressure to do the damage either. So, if you are scrolling through footage on Instagram or TikTok, be mindful of your mouth. If you see something cute, verbalise it instead of physically reacting to it. It could save you a lot of money, and toothache!" 

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